Lets face it, safety is the most important thing when finding a convertible car seat for your child.
But while the child’s safety is important your comfort or that of your passenger is important too.
The question of what is the best convertible child safety seat for a small car is one that you have probably had to face after you or your passengers got all cramped up because you are too tall or maybe you drive a mini.
However, the safety of the child is also of critical importance and the child safety seat has to be installed correctly, even if you drive a small vehicle.
“A recently published Nova Scotia study found 55 percent of convertible and booster seats were installed or used incorrectly. The figures go as high as 90% for small vehicles”
Best Car Seat for Small Car: Britax Frontier Clicktight
Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight
Out of the child seats for small cars in this guide the Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight is the best car seats for small cars with its small size, adjustable recline, side impact protection and 5 point harness.
Even as some of the best travel car seats for toddlers offer utmost safety and protection, they may never fit in your little car, making travel a nightmare.
However, you should not have to sacrifice your comfort and safety every time you travel.
We have a compile a list of the top rated compact convertible car seats that will fit in any small car allowing you to travel comfortably while confident that your kid is also safe.
You wanna know the good thing about these safety seats? You can also use most of them as infant car seats. You may be surprised to hear that some of my best car seats for infants have also been the best car seats for small vehicles.
Best Car Seat for Small Cars of 2018 Reviewed
Comparison of Best Convertible Car Seat for Small Cars 2018
Safety 1st Guide 65
Britax Marathon Frontier
Graco Snugride Click Connect
Benefits of a Best Convertible Car Seat for Compact Cars
There are several benefits you stand to gain by going for a small child safety seat if you have a small or medium sized vehicle.
- Small carseats are lightweight and compact making them easy to lug around. This is especially convenient if you move around a lot or move the seat from vehicle to vehicle, whereby a big carseat can become huge inconvenience due to its bulk and weight.
- A compact child safety seat does take a lot of space in the vehicle meaning you can have enough space for your grocery shopping or any other thing you need to carry around in the car on the regular
- With small child seats, you can typically fit more safety seats into the backseat, allowing you to carry several of your children safely
- The best small car seats leave enough room for your spouse, other children or any other passengers that you may want to carry around. Small seats leave more legroom ensuring your passengers are more comfortable on the ride
Using the above criteria, we narrowed our original list of 10 down to five top convertible car seats for small cars in 2018:
- Britax G.1.1 Frontier Clicktight convertible car seat for small cars
- Graco 4ever All in One car seat for small cars
- Safety 1st Guide 65 convertible car seat
- Maxi Cosi Pria 70 child safety seat
- Graco SnugRide Click Connect 30 infant car seat for small car
Best Car Seat For Smaller Cars On The Market Today:
Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight
The Britax Clicktight has made a name for itself as making some of the most beloved, popular and best of all safest baby products, particularly with its range of child safety seats.
For many convertible car seats, the most important if not the only concern is the safety and looks of the car seat which you may end to look at first when considering what safety seat to buy.
The Britax Clicktight is a great seat both in the rear facing mode for infants and the rear facing mode for toddlers and older children. As such you will not have to purchase two seats as your child grows.
Given how notorious rear facing child safety seats are for taking up too much space, the Britax is the most compact rear facing convertible seats given its relatively small footprint, which can be reduced even further with adjustment of its recline
- The Britax has excellent safety ratings and will offer high grade protection to your child through its innovative Clicktight installation systems and the Safecell integrated impact protection systems
- Let your kid enjoy a comfortable ride in the Britax which provides the most number of recline options of any small car car seat. With 14 adjustment options, the child can ride in almost unlimited recline positions that are suitable for their needs.
- Worry no more about whether you have correctly installed your child car seat when you buy the Britax. You can always be certain that the child is comfortable and safe in their seat as it comes with a angle recline bubble adjust and a Safesnug harness indicator so that you are never in doubt.
- The smart design of the child safety seat makes it very easy to adjust the heights of the car seat as the child grows thus providing maximum comfort and fit all through the push of a button
- Both rear and forward facing
- best compact car seat
- Excellent safety ratings
- checkSafe and comfortable installation
- Cushions rattle without passenger
Graco 4 Ever All in One
Backless belt-positioning mode from 40 to 120 pounds.
You may drive your small car for years and given the headache of finding the appropriate child safety seat for a small car, it would also be great if you found the right seat that you could use for an extended period
However many car seats for small cars tend to fit your car alright but barely last for more than two or three years, leaving you scrambling for another seat since your kid still has to ride.
If this is you then the small rear facing car seat that is the Graco 4Ever is just the child seat for you as it comes with the longest extended use of all car seats in the market of up to ten years.
The extended use is because you can use the Graco right from infancy until the child shifts to seats through the rear facing, forward facing, high back booster, and backless belt positioning mode.
To add on to this, it is a small and lightweight car seat that is a great fit for most medium and small size cars that you drive or even services such as Uber or Lyft
- The widest weight and height limits of the car seat make this car seat suitable for children right from infancy right up to when they switch to seat belts as early teens
- Dont have to deal with annoying straps and harnesses as the Graco comes with integrated harnesses that make it easy to put away the straps when they are not in use particularly when you are in booster mode
- A safe car seat that will give you peace of mind with the installation and crash impact protections. The seat comes with read level indicators, no rethread harness and a reinforced steel frame
- Installation is easy and convenient through the inright LATCH attachment that p[roduces an audible click when the harnesses and the child car seat are correctly installed into the car at the right snugness and angle
- The kid gets to enjoy all kid comforts including infant inserts and drinks on the go as the seat comes with integrated cup holders. For your convenience you will be happy to know the seat is machine washable
“The Graco 4Ever makes use of EPS or Expanded Polystyrene, a resilient and lightweight foam plastic in the shell and head restraints. The EPS absorbs crash forces thus minimizing injury to the child.”
- Extended use
- Small Portable and lightweight
- Innovative safety devices
- checkEasy and safe installation
- Swallows small baby items
- Installation requires getting used to
Safety 1st Guide 65 Seat
Side Impact Protection
A small car seat is always a good thing for persons that are traveling but even more so if you have a small car. As such the quest for the smallest convertible car seat is one that I am sure you started as soon as you bought that car seat and found it too big for your car
However, with manufacturing companies now alive to the need for small car seats, many are venturing into the manufacture of compact toddler car seats that will fit into your small or luxury car perfectly
The Safety 1st Guide range of car seats is the most compact toddler car seat and definitely the best car seat for compact car. It will fit in all manner of medium and small cars and I am yet to find a car that it will not fit into.
- It has been made for the small car being lightweight and small in size yet having the highest standards of safety and quality we always associate with the safety 1st range of child seats
- It is not only about the car seat fitting into the small car you also need the seat to be comfortable and safe and in this regard the Safety first guide delivers a great ride for the kid
- As a small car seat you get to enjoy the use of the safety first car seat right from the time of the infancy of the child up to the time they are toddlers of up to 52 pounds since you can use it in both rear and forward facing modes
- You can comfortably fit three of the Safety first car seats in the backseat of almost any car give that it has a very small footprint making it the best convertible car seat for legroom. Moreover, the small toddler car seats will not interfere with the comfort of the passengers in the front seat
- Even as it is best known for being a compact car seat, the Safety first is also a very safe seat and comes with integrated anti rebound bolster, five position harnesses, and 3 buckle positions to enhance safety in the instance of a crash
- Small, compact and lightweight
- Safe and comfortable
- Forward and rear facing mode
- checkFits three in the backseat
- Not great for tall toddlers
Easy to Clean
The Maxi Cosi is a convertible car seat for compact car that combines being small and portable with superior protection for your infant and toddler making it an excellent choice for your small car.
The Maxi Cosi Pria is the smallest child car seats yet a very safe and most secure car seat of the maxi cosi safety seats. It is the most compact seats that does fit children above the age of two.
It is very convenient as you can use it for your child during infancy and when they are a toddlers given that it is a two mode car seat.
Small as it is, you can use it as an bucket seat for preemies from 4 to 40 pounds in the rear facing mode then shift it to forward facing where you can use it from 22 to 70 pounds.
- The Maxi Cosi provides safety for your child as you can use it in the recommended rear facing mode for the infant before turning it forward facing when the child is older
- Experience easy installation of the car seat as the Maxi Cosi is LATCH compatible. Besides that, it will fit in almost any type of car seat as it supports deep recline adjustment for a custom fit into the vehicle
- The child rides in comfort and safety from a combination of plush infant inserts, 3 harness shoulder heights and an advanced proprietary cushioning system that will protect your child from all manner of crashes
- The child gets to grow with the car seat which provides a perfect fit as you can always adjust the heights as the child grows thus ensuring they are always safe and comfortable in their seat
- The Maxi Cosi is the best carseat for small cars as you wont have to deal with cramped legs It is a small car seat that takes very little space in the car and hence your passengers will enjoy their space whether they ride in the front or the back
- Small footprint for passenger comfort
- Easy installation with LATCH
- Comfort and safety
- checkPerfect fit that grows with child
- Low height limits
Do you just need an ultra lightweight car seat but do want to buy the convertible car seat just yet since you have an infant. Well, get the most ultra lightweight infant car car seat which I have found will always be a great fit for small cars
The Graco Snugride Click Connect is one of the best car seats for compact cars that you could find in the market that has the best conveniences and accessories to not only protect but only provide comfort to your child
The best thing about the Graco Snugride that makes it so popular is that it is an ultra lightweight compact infant car seat that can fit in the back seat of most medium size and small vehicles and can be carried around with ease
- If you are the parent that moves car seats from car to car then this is the car seat for you as it is ultra lightweight making it easy to get in and out of the small car and even your stroller
- The Graco will provide you with convenience particularly if you are a Graco product fan as it is compatible with all Graco Click connect strollers for when you get out of the car
- One of the smaller car seats that you will love with the ease of installation of this car seat as it comes with Click Connect and LATCH technology which makes installation not only a breeze but also snug and safe
- Excellent safety standards as the car seat has undergone rigorous testing to meet and exceed most federal child safety standards that include certifications from organizations such as the JPMA.
- Ultra-lightweight infant seat
- Compact to fit most small cars
- checkEasy installation with LATCH
- checkHigh safety ratings
- Sunshade is noisy when adjusted
Best Car Seat for Small Car: Britax Frontier Clicktight
Britax G1.1 Frontier Clicktight
Of all the small convertible car seat for small vehicles reviewed, the Britax G1.1 takes the prize. It is small enough that it fits in any small car and yet provides utmost safety and comfort for your child
It is also easy to install and can be carried around given that it is a relatively lightweight child safety seat and is also FAA approved
Given its features, its price is quite affordable and I would recommend that you go for the Britax if you have or are thinking of purchasing a mini.